Archive for August, 2011

Computer Embellished Painting

Here’s a sneak glimpse of an upcoming line of hand-screened cruisers designed for Formation Skateboards. The overall graphic is based on the fan favorite from 2010’s Custom Cruiser show at Exit Skateshop. The chest hair is loosely based on my own.

Computer Embellished Drawing

Props to Philadelphia’s greatest professional baseball team, featuring the uniform they wore the last time I could name more than three of them.

Guests: Kelly Vrooman & SM Shrake

Topics: Novelty Sleeping Bags, Bad Camping Tips, Children’s TV Hosts’ Clothes, Comedy Improv, Puppet Hands, Junk Drawers, Story Telling, Barbra Streisand, Washington D.C. Etiquette, Adam West, Eyebrow Plucking, Joke Thieves, David Bowie’s Patented Brush Off Technique and More

Playlist: “Philadelphia (The City of Brotherly Love)” by We Are Augustines and “Bobby” by Butcher The Bar

Play Now:

iTunes: Download, Listen and Subscribe (more…)

Ink & Crayon on Paper • 9″ x 12″ • Private Collection

I made a kid and I made a bear. One colored in the other.

Computer Embellished Painting

A chestful of graphics for a boxful of shirts for a mouthful of a performance venue, Underground Arts at the Wolf Building.

Acrylic • Underground Arts at the Wolf Building

Last summer, I took on the monumental task of creating a mammoth mural in the catacombs of the Philadelphia’s Underground Arts at the Wolf Building. After completing the extemporaneous outline, I handed over the monumentaler task of coordinating the coloring efforts (based loosely on these specs) to the venue owner.

The space will be hosting a huge Late Night Cabaret series this fall so the race is on to complete the work before the festivities. Want to lend a hand?

Paper Mache Mask • 20″x16″ • Private Collection

Pictured above is my swan project, completed during a week-long collage course. Based on the creative seed-planting process of the Dadaists, four random bits of inspiration were drawn from a hat (assuming people wear plastic bags as hats). I pulled two bits of text (“HEARD ON THE STREET” and “YOUTH PROGRAM”), a photo of a set of dentures soaking in a glass of water and a weather map depicting high temperatures across the United States. Our task was to create a paper mache mask combining the happenstance elements.

The convergence of those seemingly unrelated elements pointed me towards the idea of urban youth frolicking in an illegally opened fire hydrant on a hot summer day. The resulting mask may serve as a modern day, ceremonial, waterdance headdress. In addition to the overt references, including wrench and fireplug silhouettes and text (IT’S GONNA BE A HOT ONE” and “”OPENING A FIRE HYDRANT IS A CRIME”), the mask covertly suggests the shape of the sun and tribal (African, South American and North American) aesthetic elements. (more…)

Paper Collage on Book Covers • Varying Sizes • Private Collection

This collection of altered books was created by snipping and clipping the respective artists’ respected work from within retrospective books and semi-respectfully reworking the work on the covers. I call the collection Cover Artist, One Man’s Art Ruined by Another.

A Variety of Inspired Collages, Inspired by A Variety of Collagers

Now that I’m ankle-deep in another collage course, it’s time to tip my hat and hand.  A keen art historian may peek at my past collage work (pictured above) and detect the influence of Henri Matisse, Romare Bearden and Jean-Michel Basquiat. A keener art historian, living in the Baltimore area, would recognize the influence of contemporary artist, Matt Bovie.

I have been attracted to, and inspired by, Bovie’s work for many years for it’s strong iconography, bold palette, harmonic compositions and primitive sincerity. Although the work is modern, it seems to encapsulate a mythology spanning generations.

Bovie shows and sells his work in Baltimore but doesn’t exhibit or market his art online. Perhaps that relative digital reclusiveness adds to the allure. I am aware of his work only due to a chain of coincidental acquaintances. Although we’ve never met, I peer at his occasional art-related albums on Facebook and admire from afar.

If you’d like to learn more about the work of Matt Bovie, wander the streets of Baltimore and hope you run into him.

Selected Works by Matt Bovie

Ink on Paper • 5″x8″ • Private Collection

Today, I embarked upon a weeklong University of the Arts graduate class, focusing on image and text elements in collage. Part of the embarkation (it’s a word, look it up)  involves reflecting on why we chose to take the course and what we hope to gain. Reflection initiated:

Although I make things all year long, it’s nice to have a cluster of time specifically devoted to art production. The reason I chose this class, in particular, is threefold.

Last summer, I took a collage class with Dan Schank at the university. I very much enjoyed the course and was anxious to return to the paste well. I’ve also recently been focusing on writing morsels of nonsense as a contributor to WitStream via Twitter, so I thought this might be a nice opportunity to blend the two outlets. Finally, the course’s emphasis on book manipulation parallels a longtime interest and 2007 show titled Withdrawn.

When the scraps settle, I hope to produce a coherent collection of new pieces that pushes my work in new directions. As always, I want to enjoy making things and I want people to enjoy the things that I make. I also hope to talk/debate about art production, consumption and education with fellow art teachers. Finally, I hope to find some money on the ground.